Leopard print is by far my favourite fashion classic. It has stood the test of time; a secret wardrobe weapon right up there with the little black dress or the must-have camel coat. Worn by everyone from royalty to rock stars, this print has been seen as both luxurious and sophisticated or as kitschy and trashy. Since its start, leopard has always been considered exotic, sensual, and feminine.
Leopard’s impact on the 20th-century started in the 1920s with the rise of mass-produced fur coats inspired by movie stars. Joan Crawford was said to have led the charge with her leopard slip dress, closely followed by Ava Gardner’s bodysuit and Jayne Mansfield’s hot pants. By the ’40s, the prints got bolder and started to extend into evening wear. In the ’60s, we started to see matching accessories, and the ’70s offered up the trendy pantsuit. Whether it’s on a runway or the Met Gala, I think it’s safe to say this trend has never diminished in popularity.
Ever thought that you could never wear it? There is no doubt, like other trends, it can be overdone, but that often comes down to how you style it.
6 Ways to Wear Leopard
1. Wear leopard flats.
Try a leopard-printed flat. They’re great for dressing up work wear basics like black pants and white collared shirts or for the weekend.
2. Use leopard as an accent.
The simpler and more monochromatic the rest of your look, the more that touch of leopard will pop. Wear it in the form of a narrow belt, scarf, or sunglasses.
3. Leopard pants and leather jacket.
There is something truly badass about a pair of fitted leopard pants and a touch-girl jacket. Sort of like Olivia Newton John in the movie Grease.
4. Carry a leopard bag with, well, anything.
Believe it or not, leopard is a neutral. In fact, it’s three neutrals in one – black, khaki, and white – and there is just something about a leopard-print bag that feels particularly versatile.
5. Add a leopard-print faux fur coat and a chic pair of heels to any look.
Wear a faux fur leopard coat with everything from a dress to a pantsuit and give your look an instant dose of high-end glamour.
6. Add feminine power to a business suit.
In addition to being sexy, leopard print is also intrinsically feminine. That said, it’s a wonderful shell to wear under that suit to work or play!
Bonney Rempel A retail expert and a savvy shopper herself, with a keen eye on fashion and all things beauty – from her passion for flower gardening, to her savvy in skin care (she was an aesthetician before all, and it shows), so when it comes to getting and keeping a glow, she’s the one in the know. Her fashion dictum is “There’s no such thing as being overdressed”.